How to Activate Free-To-Air Channels on a DStv Dish Installation

Little girl watching free TV

Do you know you can gain access to more channels on DStv than the ones you normally get without having to pay more? There are lots of hidden free to air channels on every is20 satellite dish installation. Here’s how you can get yours.

Recently on Facebook, I stumbled on an article that opened my eyes to hidden uses of DStv I never knew existed.

That’s how I met Mredjo IDyan. He’s an installations expert from Cape Town who loves helping subscribers with dish and installation issues. He shares a lot of his work on his Facebook group and has contributed a lot to help me make this article for you.

If you are a sports fans, don’t forget to read the article on free to air sports channels.

So let’s get into it. But what do you need for the activation? You’ll need a working remote control, a dstv dish using is20 satellite settings, and a DStv decoder, preferably HD. Decoders such as Explora 4us and 4s.5u.6s.

I’m assuming you have these already so let’s get going.

Related Post: Updated DStv Compact Channels List for 2021.

Here is how to discover and activate lots of FTA channels on your current installation. If you are using a HD decoder, see FTA channel setup for DStv HD Decoder.

STEP 1

On your Remote Control just go to Menu by pressing the Blue button.

STEP 2

Then select Settings and go to Satellite Settings.

STEP 3

On satellite settings, there is Home Network and Additional Network. Now select Additional network.

STEP 4

On Additional Network, you will find Networks numbered from 1 to 5.

STEP 5
Here’s where you’ll need to pay proper attention. Do not change any frequencies on Network #1. Simply put “YES” where there is “NO.” These are the operating frequencies for your decoder so do not alter them. We’ll start making changes from Network 2 to Network 5.

STEP 6

  • Making changes on NETWORK 2 for Commec IS20, KLN, Limpopo TV, 1kzn TV & Others. On Network 2, apply the following changes.
FREQUENCY11514 or 11170
SYMBOL RATE28750
FEC3/4
POLARISATIONVertical OR Horizontal

Then apply Scan this (Scan all✖).

  • Making Changes to NETWORK 3 for Ifilm, Loveworld, Press News, Talent Sport, Hossana tv and many more:
FREQUENCY12562
MODULATIONDVB-S2
SYMBOL30000
FEC5/6
POLARISATIONHorizontal

Apply Scan this✔ (Scan all✖)

  • Make the following changes to NETWORK 4 for Limpopo TV, Christ TV, Angel TV, Mercy TV, prophet Shepard Bushiri, Eagle TV, and more.
FREQUENCY12522
SYMBOL27500 Or 30000
FEC3/4
POLARISATIONHorizontal

Apply Scan this✔ (Scan all✖).

  • Apply these to NETWORK 5 for Khudunga, Access TV, BTV Test channel, France 24, NOW, BTV Digital, and BTV mobile
FREQUENCY12633 or 12657 for sound
SYMBOL RATE16166 or 4883 for sound
FEC5/6
POLARISATIONVERTICAL

Then Scan this✔ (Scan all✖)

New free channels have been added to Network 2/5. Apply the following setting to get them.

Enable NetworkYes
Use NITYes
Frequency12543
ModulationDVB-S
Symbol Rate1600
FEC3/4
PolarisationVertical

Once you are done, be sure to change from “My DStv Channels” to “All Channels” then press 100 and scroll left you will see all the channels that are coming before channel 100. The added channels will have four digits as shown in the image below.

Free to air channels listed on Dstv
Free-To-Air channels listed on DStv with four-digit reference numbers. Image Credits: Mredjo IDyan.

If it won’t scan automatically and it’s showing you that your parameters are incorrect, it means one of two things: either your signal strength is low or your LNB is not properly positioned.

If that’s the case, you’ll need to find an accredited dish installer at your location to assist you. Also, please understand that the frequencies above are the same for is20 free to air frequencies 2020.

List of Free Channels on DStv

Irrespective of the package you are using on DStv, every subscriber is entitled to about 13 free channels on the default set up. A selection of the channels include:

S/NFree ChannelsCode
1.)SABC 1191
2.)SABC 2192
3.)SABC 3193
4.)e.TV194
5.)Soweto TV251
6.)Bay TV260
7.)1 KZN261
8.)Tshwane TV262
9.)Cape Town TV263
10.)GauTV265
11.)Lesotho TV292
12.)NTA i299
13.)TV Mozambique Internacional701

If you need help, drop a comment below. But if you are in Cape Town, you can always hook up with Mredjo IDyan on Facebook and he’ll help you sort things out.

Related Post: Updated DStv Confam Channels list 2021.

89 thoughts on “How to Activate Free-To-Air Channels on a DStv Dish Installation”

      1. Hi I’m trying to install the free channels on my DStv HD recorder but it’s not going through properly,I don’t know at what signal strength percentage it should be coz mine signal strength is at 64% and signal quality is at 75% can you help me further from here.

          1. I tried the steps as they are but I only got Daystar, Christ TV, amazing discovery and AMI TV. I’m trying to get Eagles tv, Ebira Unity, Press tv and Prophetic Channel

                1. Good day Sir, please I would like to know if one activates the free to air channels on dstv, how do you revert to the paid channels i. e the ones that are not free. Also does this free to air channels have Dunamis tv on its list. Thanks

                  1. Hi, Chidi! If you have followed the steps, you’ll find that at a certain point you changed from “My DStv channels” to “All channels.” Simply go there and change it back to “My DStv channels.” You’ll also need to revert the — YES/NO — changes you made at Step 5 above.

                    Concerning Dunamis TV, you only have to check first with the settings above. But you may not have it in HD.

                    Most of the settings work well for the intelsat 20 satellite at 68.5 degrees East. Based on that, if the above configurations work but you can’t find Dunamis TV, I suggest you try the following changes on one of the networks:

                    Frequency: 12682;
                    Polarisation: Vertical;
                    Symbol rate: 30000;
                    FEC: 2/3
                    Mod: DVB-S

                      1. Hi, O’Brian. At that point you are done already. Proceed to the last instructions and apply the the changes you’ve made. The settings you are talking about are optional changes you can make to Network 2 and 5.

                        1. I completed the steps and and I see all the channel but I cant watch them.i get this error code on every free channel I clicked “this decoder does not belong in this network”.is there anything to clear this error E106-9?

                          1. Hi, what kind of decoder are you using? These settings work best on MPEG-4 ready decoders. Old DStv decoders were using MPEG-2. Please come over to the Forum let’s talk. We don’t want to create excessively long threads here.

                        2. Amazing blessing.. Thank you soo much it worked but some channels not giving sound… Anything I can change to get sound???

                        3. Hi, Kas-triezy! I’m glad you now have more free channels to enjoy.
                          For theuted channels, it would easier for me to assist you if you could mention a few of the muted TV channels. But I’m guessing they are either from Network 5 or 2, or both.

                          For example, there are two Frequencies and Symbol Rates for Network 5. Try to switch between the two, rescan and check if you have sound.

                              1. Hi, Tinashe! That’s great. To get sound on Eagle TV, Change the settings on Network 4 to the ones below:

                                Frequency: 12682
                                Symbol Rate: 30000
                                FEC: 2/3

                                Note: These are for Network 4 only.

                                Enjoy!

                                1. All the channels are working fine for me but one problem is the sounds for the radio stations can u help me out please!

                                      1. Hi, David. Check your signal strength. Check your LNB too and ensure that it is properly position. Over time, most dish installations get adjusted by weather and other environmental conditions.

                                        1. Greetings sir, can the DStv dsd1110 (+2) work bcoz I have tried to get the FTA channels it’s not working out. Where I am missing?

                                        2. Greetings Ekemini Robert the channels were working just fine but now we can’t excess Ebira, Eagles tv and I think there’s more we can’t excess now, when trying to scan it gets quite on network 3,4,5, it doesn’t scan,, what can I do?

                                          1. Hi, Thobeka Dube. What kind of decoder are you using? Has there been a software update? You can try undoing the settings; restart your decoder; then try to set them again from scratch.

                                            Also, has there been a storm recently? Have you checked your signal strength, how good is it? Check your signal strength and be sure everything is fine.

                                            1. Thank you Ekemini, I’m using dstv compact, there has been problems with the network but don’t really know about the network, the signal was affected. I will try again because till today I can’t access most channels. Thank you so much 🙂

                                                1. Hi, @Simon! What kind of satellite are you hooked up to? Is it IS20? Confirm that in your settings menu and let me know.

                                                  But simply following the instructions in the article above can give you the channels. But if you are not using IS20, let me know so I can send you new installation settings.

                                              1. Hi, am using IS20 on satellite, and my decoder HD model is 65
                                                I’ve enter the frequencies and it counts but the channels are not appearing at all

                                              2. Hi Ekemini. I am trying to do an SMATV scan, but understand that the H channels have all been moved to V frequencies.

                                                How do I find a list of these shifted frequencies, and then do the scan?

                                                System is Multichoice in South Africa

                                                Thank you

                                                1. Hi, Tony! Which channel are you looking for? It can be hard to know all the channels that have changed polarization. The best thing to do would be to check for them individually. However, you may not need to do that for channels using the same frequency because all you would need to do would be to change the polarization from Horizontal to Vertical.

                                                1. Hi, I’m using dstv explora model A3, on prophetic channel there is no audio and no pictures, is just shows blank, what is the problem?

                                                2. Hi Ekemini, I have recently moved to Hermanus where there is no DTTV service and I have a smart Tv, so I wish to get myself DSTV Easy View and as many FTA programmes as possible. Will I be able to do this with a DSTV HD Single View Decoder 4138-6S?

                                                3. Hi Sir Ekemini. I’ve just bought explore to upgrade. My problem I don’t know the settings for twin lnb. Five years ago multichoice send professional installer who really did job but after a week or so my signal was gone. I call another one which he was worse than that one. I bought signal finder even today I haven’t had problem about signal. Can you please help me how to set up single lnb to twin lnb is being two months I bought explore. Please Sir I’m based in South of Johannesburg

                                                4. Hi Ekemini, thanks for the response. I went to the local supplier to get a 6S decoder and they tell me the 6S has been replaced by the 8S decoder. Will this new model still be able to be reset to obtain the FTA channels? The DSTV installer says the new decoders have been changed to prevent and block getting the FTA channels. Is this true, and should I search somewhere else for someone who can still supply me with a 6S ?

                                                  1. I suggest you search for a 6S decoder. We are yet to have something on 8S decoders. When we do we will post it on this website and our Facebook page. Go for 6S if your major need is FTA channels.

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